Navy Remembers Vice Adm. Samuel Gravely

Navy Remembers Vice Adm. Samuel Gravely


VICE ADMIRAL SAMUEL L. GRAVELY JUNIOR, WAS
A NAVY SURFACE WARRIOR WITH A CAREER OF MANY FIRSTS DURING A TIME OF GREAT RACIAL CHANGE
IN THE NAVY. SHORTLY AFTER ENLISTING IN THE NAVY AS A FIREMAN
APPRENTICE DURING WORLD WAR TWO, VICE ADMIRAL GRAVELY WAS THE FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN TO
PARTICIPATE IN THE V-12 COMMISSIONING PROGRAM. HE SERVED ABOARD A SEGREGATED SUBMARINE CHASER
UNTIL THE END OF THE WAR. IN 1949 HE WAS CALLED BACK TO ACTIVE DUTY
TO BE A RECRUITER FOR THE NEWLY DESEGREGATED NAVY. AFTER SERVING ON MULTIPLE SHIPS DURING THE
KOREAN WAR, HE TRANSFERRED TO ACTIVE DUTY PERMANENTLY IN 1954. MAKING HISTORY AS HE ACHIEVED DIFFERENT RANKS,
HE BECAME THE FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF A NAVY SHIP, THE DESTROYER USS
THEODORE E. CHANDLER IN 1960 AND COMMANDING OFFICER ON JANUARY 31ST 1961. SELECTED AS THE FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN REAR
ADMIRAL IN 1971, HE TOOK COMMAND OF CRUISER DESTROYER GROUP TWO AND EVENTUALLY THE ENTIRE
3RD FLEET. VICE ADMIRAL GRAVELY FINISHED HIS CAREER AS
THE DIRECTOR OF THE DEFENSE COMMUNICATION AGENCY, AND RETIRED AFTER A DISTINGUISHED
38 YEAR CAREER. VICE ADMIRAL GRAVELY DIED IN 2004. THE DESTROYER USS GRAVELY HAS BEEN NAMED IN
HIS HONOR. HIS WIFE ALMA GRAVELY, AGREES WITH THE DECISION. “HE ALWAYS WANTED TO BE COME THE SKIPPER OF
A DESTROYER. THAT’S WHY IM HAPPY THAT THE NAVY DECIDED TO BUILD A DESTROYER FOR HIM
BECAUSE I DON’T KNOW IF HE WOULD BE TOO PLEASED WITH ANY OTHER SHIP WHETHER IT WAS BIGGER
OR SMALLER. HE LOVED DESTROYERS AND HE LOVED TO GO TO SEA WITH THEM.” FROM THE DEFENSE MEDIA ACTIVITY, I’M PETTY
OFFICER AMARA TIMBERLAKE.

One comment

  1. June 4th: Happy birthday Samuel L. Gravely, Jr., first African American officer to become an admiral in the U.S. Navy, first African American to command a Navy ship, first African American fleet commander (1922-2004) Thank you and God bless. RIP. Thanks for the upload, U.S. Navy. Blessings

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